Lost Planet is going in two very different directions with family man Jim foraging thermal energy on a frozen planet in one game and shonen archetype Bren who dreams of becoming the best Vital Suit pilot in E.X. Troopers. While both titles are in the same universe, the games clash aesthetically with bright and fun anime art for E.X. Troopers compared to Lost Planet 3’s serious looking 3D models. If you take out the ice planet setting, E.X. Troopers is the antithesis of Lost Planet 3. And that’s exactly what Capcom wants.
"They had kind of struggled with Lost Planet 2 a bit, because they were going in this direction of creating this multiplayer, almost festival atmosphere, including crazy amounts of content and ridiculous scenarios. Sort of Monster Hunter with guns— coming in and defeating huge creatures together—and getting away from some of the narrative strengths that were originally part of the franchise," said Lost Planet executive producer Kenji Ohguro with Lost Planet 3 producer Andrew Szymanski translating.
"They were doing this almost kind of ‘party game,’ but their art style was leaning more towards the cool end of the spectrum. So, he [Ohguro] already felt at the tail-end of Lost Planet 2, that they weren’t able to marry those as well as they should have. That was one of the reasons why maybe Lost Planet 2 didn’t perform as well as it could have. Coming out of Lost Planet 2 as the franchise owner on the creative side, Ohguro-san felt really strongly about the need to branch these out into two separate products," Szymanski continued.
"One of them being a lets bring all of friends together and let’s go crazy – almost a ‘party game shooter’ style of gameplay. And the other side of the coin would be to make a product that gets back to the franchise roots, which is more of a cinematic, narrative-driven experience that really touches upon the themes of colonization, survival, and that kind of stuff. He knew that if they tried to put those together into a single product, it would become even more of a disconnect. The more they went toward realistic visuals, the more that would contrast with the party game atmosphere."
"The beginning of E.X. Troopers was, ‘Let’s take that party game atmosphere and make that its own product.’ And then, Lost Planet 3 is ‘Let’s take the core franchise values and make that into its own product,’” Szymanski summarized to Siliconera.
I asked Ohguro about the anime art direction for E.X. Troopers too and Szymanski explained, "In terms of the anime style of E.X. Troopers, [Ohguro-san] wasn’t involved in making decisions on art direction, so he can’t really say whether they went too far in that direction or not. [Laughs.]"
While Lost Planet 3 will be released worldwide next year, E.X. Troopers has only been announced for Japan.